Robot toy maker Sphero this week launched a spin-off company focused on creating intelligent AI for first responders, law enforcement, and the military. Company Six (CO6), an independent startup, will adapt technology from Sphero’s Public Safety Division to craft robust and feature-rich yet affordable products.
“Our team is excited to build critically needed robotic hardware and advanced software solutions that help first responders and people with dangerous jobs,” Company Six chief Jim Booth, former Sphero COO, said in a statement. “Our mission is to build powerful and affordable technology that we can put in the hands of as many people as possible.”
It’s unclear exactly what to expect from the Boulder-based firm, whose bare-bones website offers no hints (but does encourage folks to sign up for the latest news—whenever there is some). A vague Sphero announcement suggests that CO6 products and services “are essential to maintaining safety, situational awareness, and improving decision making in the field for critical incidents and everyday operating environments.”
But whether that means a military-grade roving Ollie bot, a uniformed BB-8, or something entirely unexpected remains to be seen. Boston Dynamics recently introduced a modified version of its Spot robot dog, intended to help reduce exposure of medical staff to COVID-19.
Booth is joined by several members of the Sphero team, including former CEO Paul Berberian, who sees his new role as chairman of Sphero and Company Six as “an opportunity to continue to bring revolutionary robotics technology to new markets to improve the lives of more people, our future leaders, and people with essential and sometimes dangerous job functions.” Paul Copioli will replace Berberian as head of Sphero.